Thursday, February 18, 2021

The One With The Rings On It

And by it, of course I mean the USMNT Clipboard we'll use to play my "if I was in charge" game with an Olympic edition. We'll start with the netminders and then roll out two positions at a time the rest of the way. Because European-based pros by and large won't be available for qualifying, they'll sport an asterisk as tournament-only players. And in addition to the usual depth chart spots, we'll also think about potential overage selections (you get three for the otherwise Under-23 ... erm, this time U-24-ish tournament).

Honestly, the goalkeeper calls were kinda easy as things stand...

JT Marcinkowski
David Ochoa

Next man up: Matt Freese
Some work to do: Brady Scott

Overage: Ethan Horvath*

Marcinkowski is the most experienced pro of the age-eligible bunch, and thus is the one with the most proof of capability. He certainly wasn't flawless in 11 MLS starts, but yeah, not bad. Ochoa may or may not be able to start pushing for more Real Salt Lake chances this season, but he's one to watch. Freese is solid and Scott is a talented kid who needs a revival.

The reason I only have two youngsters in boldface is that, as of now, Horvath would be taking one of the overage slots. I generally hold a steady "at least the quarterfinals" hope for our teams at these types of youth tournaments, and the best shot involves starting a keeper who has already faced the brand of  big talent we'll see in Japan. The program often likes to bring a veteran (or relative experienced) netminder to the Olympics - Keller, Friedel and Guzan were all chosen as over agers - and I hope the new regime will follow that line of thinking.

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

You think Horvath and not Turner? I'm not sure why his jumping ahead of Sean John made me think maybe Turner.

Greg Seltzer said...

Turner will be in the middle of his club season, Horvath will be in between.

DaMa said...

Good point!